India's miserable run in Rio Olympics continues

Former Commonwealth Games gold medalist Manoj Kumar (64kg) put up a spirited show but could not match the power of fifth seed Fazliddin Gaibnazarov in his pre-quarterfinal bout to bow out of the Olympic Games. In women's marathon, O. P. Jaisha and Kavita Raut, found themselves out of depth in the Olympic Games women's marathon and finished way behind in the150-plus field.

Manoj Kumar went down 3-0 in the contest which was not particularly engaging in its quality of boxing.   -  Reuters

Former Commonwealth Games gold medalist Manoj Kumar (64kg) put up a spirited show but could not match the power of fifth seed Fazliddin Gaibnazarov in his pre-quarterfinal bout to bow out of the Olympic Games on Sunday.

Read: >Srikanth, Sindhu through to pre-quarters, Saina out

The 29-year-old Indian went down 3-0 in the contest which was not particularly engaging in its quality of boxing but showcased Manoj's fighting spirit.

The 25-year-old Gaibnazarov, the World and Asian Championships silver-medallist from Uzbekistan, was consistently better than Manoj but the Indian impressed with his never-say-die spirit.

In the opening round, Manoj kept his rival at a distance, denying him a clear shot. The dodge-first-attack-later strategy managed to unsettle the Uzbek for sometime but it was never going to be enough and Gaibnazarov clinched the initiative with a couple of left jabs in the closing seconds.

GYMNASTICS: >Dipa Karmakar finishes a strong fourth

In the second round, Gaibnazarov continued to rely on his strong left, prompting a standing eight count against the Indian. The Uzbek's foot movement was lucid after he had clearly got a hang of the Indian's strategy and he connected much better.

Manoj was guilty of not using his height and reach advantage to the fullest and was clearly shaken by a vicious blow to his torso by Gaibnazarov's powerful left hand. To Manoj's credit, he never seemed short of spirit or energy despite the blows he was taking from Gaibnazarov.

READ: >Indian shooting draws a blank in Rio

The Haryana lad was way more aggressive in the final round but Gaibnazarov's footwork and tremendous balance while back-peddling negated the attempted attacks.

Gaibnazarov was the clear winner for all the judges but in a fine sporting gesture, he embraced Manoj and lauded his effort in the bout.

With Manoj and Shiva Thapa (56kg), who lost in the opening round, ousted from contention, India's boxing campaign now comprises only Vikas Krishan (75kg).

Vikas is scheduled to fight his quarterfinal bout tomorrow.

Jaisha, Kavita finish way behind in women's marathon

O. P. Jaisha and Kavita Raut, considered among the best distance runners in India and medalists at the Asian Games in the past, found themselves out of depth in the Olympic Games women's marathon and finished way behind in the150-plus field.

Read: >Kenyan Sumgong claims historic marathon gold

National record holder Jaisha, bronze medalist in the 5,000m and 1,500m respectively at the 2006 and 2014 Asiads in Doha and Incheon, ended up 89th by finishing the energy-sapping 42.1-km race in two hours, 47 minutes, 19 seconds.

The 33-year-old Kerala-born runner's time was more than 23 minutes behind the gold medal winner Jemima Jelegat Sumgong (2:24:04) of Kenya.

At the half way mark she was lagging behind the leader by three and a half minutes but then slowed down further, unable to sustain her early pace. She was well off her personal best of 2:34:43 as well as behind season's best of 2:42:26. She was 67th after 30 kms and slipped to 87th with 2kms to go.

Jaisha had achieved her personal best at the World Championship at Beijing last year where she finished 18th overall. Kavita, who won medals in the 5000m and 10,000m six years ago in the Guangzhou Asian Games, finished further behind in the 120th spot by clocking a shade under three hours (2:59:29).

The 31-year-old Maharashtra athlete finished 35 minutes behind the champion from Kenya after being nearly ten minutes off the leader's pace at the half way stage of the gruelling race.

Kavita started off much slowly and had a woeful first 30 kms which she crossed in 2:02:24 and was in 122nd place at that stage. By the 40km mark, she improved her position by two places.

The silver was won by Bahrain's Eunice Jepkirui Kirwa (2:24:13) while the bronze went to Mare Dibaba of Ethiopia (2:24:30) in a sprint finish. Twenty three runners who started the race could not finish it.

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